Advice

This list is similar to the Advice sections for each chapter in The C++ Programming Language, Fourth Edition by Bjarne Stroustrup The goal is to provide specific advice and good practices about the use of ADIOS2 in other projects.

  1. Use MPI_COMM_SELF to run MPI compiled versions of ADIOS 2 in “serial” mode

  2. Use a runtime configuration file in the ADIOS constructor or adios2_init when targeting multiple engines

  3. Check object validity when developing (similar to fstream):

    • C++: operator bool

      if(var) engine.Put(var, data);
      
    • C: NULL pointer

      if(var) adios2_put(engine, var, data, adios2_mode_deferred);
      
    • Python: v2 __nonzero__ v3 __bool__. Note: do not check for None object
      if(var) engine.Put(var, data);
      
    • Fortran: type%valid

      if( adios%valid .eqv. .true. ) then
         adios2_declare_io(adios, io, "foo")
      end if
      
  4. C++11 and Python: use try-catch (try-except in Python) blocks to handle exceptions from ADIOS 2

  5. C++11: use fixed-width types (int8_t, uint32_t) for portability

  6. Define your data structure: set of variables and attributes before developing. Data hierarchies/models can be built on top of ADIOS 2.

  7. Read the documentation for Supported Engines before targeting development for a particular engine

  8. MPI development: treat ADIOS constructor/destructor (adios2_init/adios2_finalize) and Engine Open and Close always as collective functions. For the most part, ADIOS 2 API functionality is local, but other Engine functions might follow other rules, Supported Engines.

  9. Use Remove functions carefully. They create dangling objects/pointers.

  10. Thread-safety: treat ADIOS 2 as NOT thread-safe. Either use a mutex or only handle I/O from a master thread. ADIOS 2 is about performance, adding I/O serial algorithm operations into a parallel execution block may reduce parallel portions from Amdahl’s Law.

  11. Prefer the high-level Python and C++ APIs for simple tasks that do not require performance. The more familiar Write/Read overloads for File I/O return native data constructs (std::vector and numpy arrays) immediately for a requested selection. open only explores the metadata index.

  12. C++: prefer templates to void* to increase compile-time safety. Use IO::InquireVariableType("variableName") and adios2::GetType<T>() to cast upfront to a Variable<T>. C++17 has std::any as an alternative to void*. ADIOS 2 follows closely the STL model.

  13. Understand Put and Get memory contracts from Engine

  14. Prefer Put/Get Deferred mode, treat Sync as a special mode

  15. Put Span: create all spans in a step before populating them. Spans follow the same iterator invalidation rules as std::vector, so use span.data() to always keep the span pointer up-to-date

  16. Prefer populating data before calling Put in deferred mode, rather than manipulating it between Put and PerformPuts, EndStep, or Close

  17. Use BeginStep and EndStep to write code that is portable across all ADIOS 2 Engines: file and streaming.

  18. Always use Close for every call to Open.

  19. C, Fortran: always call adios2_finalize for every call to adios2_init to avoid memory leaks.

  20. Reminder: C++, C, Python: Row-Major, while Fortran: Column-Major. ADIOS 2 will handle interoperability between ordering. Remember that bpls : Inspecting Data is always a Row-Major reader so Fortran reader need to swap dimensions seen in bpls. bpls: (slow, …., fast) -> Fortran(fast,…,slow).

  21. Fortran API: use the type members (var%valid, var%name, etc.) to get extra type information.

  22. Fortran C interoperability: Fortran bindings support the majority of applications using Fortran 90. We currently don’t support the ISO_C_BINDING interoperability module in Fortran 2003.

  23. Always keep the IO object self-contained keeping its own set of Variables, Attributes and Engines. Do not combine Variables with multiple Engines or multiple modes, unless it’s 100% guaranteed to be safe in your program avoiding Variable access conflicts.

  24. Developers: explore the testing infrastructure ADIOS2/testing in ADIOS 2 as a starting point for using ADIOS 2 in your own testing environment.

  25. Become a super-user of bpls : Inspecting Data to analyze datasets generated by ADIOS 2.